What's new in the Upper Delaware region December 16 to 22
NEWBURGH, NY — According to reports from investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane, a plea deal was not accepted and is no longer available in the Capitol riot case of Jake Lang of Newburgh.
The court hearing took place on December 9.
Lang was indicted on 11 charges, all stemming from actions on January 6 in Washington, D.C.
The full list of charges are: civil disorder; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon; obstruction of an official proceeding; aiding and abetting; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; act of physical violence in the capitol grounds or buildings.
MacFarlane stated that the plea deal would have resulted in a sentence of six to seven years in prison, and that the case would appear again in court on Tuesday, January 18.
Lang has pleaded not guilty on all counts.
ALBANY, NY — On Friday, December 10, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. This major action to address the winter surge comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise statewide, bringing New York in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission. The state health commissioner issued a determination solidifying the requirement.
This determination is based on the state’s weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. This measure is effective December 13 until January 15, 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.
WASHINGTON, DC — On December 7, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) reintroduced the Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens and People with Disabilities through Workforce Advancement Act, bipartisan legislation to create sustainable career paths for direct care workers while improving care and lowering health care costs.
Preliminary research suggests that providing direct care workers with career advancement opportunities would improve an array of outcomes, with some studies indicating that these opportunities can increase job satisfaction and retention and reduce emergency room admissions and health care costs.
The Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens and People with Disabilities through Workforce Advancement Act would build upon this preliminary research by establishing a demonstration program to test the effect of providing direct care workers with opportunities for career advancement—specifically, additional training, an expanded role and increased compensation on care, cost and workforce outcomes.
HONESDALE, NY — The Wayne County Commissioners have released the proposed 2022 General Fund and Debt Service Budget for public inspection. It includes a 4.8 percent tax increase. The balanced budget of $37,484,235 will be available for inspection in the Wayne County Commissioner’s office during normal business hours and online at https://waynecountypa.gov. The commissioners intend to formally adopt the budget on December 30.
The millage rate, if the budget is adopted without change, will rise .24 mills to 5.23 mills for 2022. The increase equates to $24 for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value. County income sources are derived from real estate taxes, user fees, costs and fines as well as state and federal funds.
Wayne County has seen upticks in need for emergency housing, drug and alcohol services, children and youth services and behavioral health services. On top of this, rising wages, utilities, gas, health care, vehicle and materials costs have contributed to this proposed tax increase. Cyber-security and information technology-related upgrades also factored in to increased expenditures but they are necessary improvements and investments.
MONTICELLO, NY — Due to increasing interest in the Move Sullivan public transportation service, Sullivan County leaders are planning to add stops and/or hours.
“We’ve created a survey to gauge the thoughts and feelings of both riders and riders-to-be,” says community resources commissioner Laura Quigley, who oversees the popular bus service. “We did a similar survey two years ago that helped us determine where best to expand this service, and I hope many people share their thoughts with us again.”
The eight-question survey can be completed anonymously at bit.ly/movesullivan. Answers will solely be used to determine the future growth of Move Sullivan. Those who do and do not ride the bus service are welcome to respond.
WASHINGTON, DC — On December 7, Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19) voted to pass bipartisan defense legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022, intended to strengthen America’s security and meet the needs of service members, veterans and military families. The NDAA for 2022 increases pay and improves benefits for service members, combats sexual assault in the military, and modernizes our defense technology, according to a news release.
“This bipartisan legislation supports our service members while making our nation safer and stronger,” said Delgado. “Tonight, I was proud to vote to give a well-deserved pay raise to our troops, advance justice for survivors of sexual assault, and ensure our nation continues to outcompete the world.”
The FY22 NDAA also includes Delgado’s legislation to make Korean War hero Charles R. Johnson eligible for the Medal of Honor. Johnson, a native of Dutchess County, was overlooked for this decoration when he gave his life in service of his country—an injustice that has taken more than 70 years to correct.
ALBANY, NY — On December 8, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Basil Seggos announced a proposal to clarify and simplify sport-fishing regulations based on public feedback and DEC fisheries manager reviews of rules associated with the management of the state’s fisheries. The proposed rulemaking also includes a limited number of waterbody-specific regulation changes to support improved management of these waters.
Highlights of the proposal include new rules for trout management in pond waters, which consolidate 143 waterbody and 33 county-wide special regulations into a new statewide regulation that permits anglers to harvest five fish per day, and regulations to provide consistency in opening and closing fishing season dates for sport-fishing.
The full text and a summary of the proposed regulatory changes are available on the DEC’s website at bit.ly/freshwaterregulations. The DEC is interested in anglers’ viewpoints and encourages public feedback on these proposals. Comments should be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line “Fishing Regulations Proposal Comments” or via mail to the Inland Fisheries Section, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753. Comments will be accepted through February 6, 2022.
PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is reminding residents to be vigilant about scams involving peer-to-peer payment applications (apps) like Zelle, Venmo, and Cashapp. The PSP is aware of a scam specifically involving Zelle, a service offered by many financial institutions through the institution’s mobile app that allows people to send money to customers of other banks.
In this scam, the fraudster sends a text message claiming to be from a bank’s fraud department stating the victim had a suspicious payment through Zelle and asking the victim to verify the transfer. If the victim responds to the text, the fraudster calls the victim claiming to be from the bank’s fraud department and asks for the victim’s username to “verify their identity.”
The fraudster asks for additional information, including notifying the victim that they will be receiving a one-time code to their phone and a possible notification from Zelle about a transfer that has either just occurred or has occurred in the past. These are legitimately from the bank and from Zelle, but the fraudster knows about them, will tell the victim to expect them, and will ask the victim for the information to “verify” it. What the fraudster is actually doing is walking the victim through the process to reset the victim’s account password. Once the password has been reset, the fraudster can empty the victim’s bank account in a matter of minutes.
PSP reminds residents who fall victim to a scam to report it to their local police department.
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